Introducing a new way to navigate by topics. Access the latest news, data, publications and more around topics of interest.
Our population statistics cover age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, migration, ancestry, language use, veterans, as well as population estimates and projections.
This section provides information on a range of educational topics, from educational attainment and school enrollment to school districts, costs and financing.
We measure the state of the nations workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, weeks and hours worked, occupations, and commuting.
Our statistics highlight trends in household and family composition, describe characteristics of the residents of housing units, and show how they are related.
Health statistics on insurance coverage, disability, fertility and other health issues are increasingly important in measuring the nation's overall well-being.
We measure the housing and construction industry, track homeownership rates, and produce statistics on the physical and financial characteristics of our homes.
The U.S. Census Bureau is the official source for U.S. export and import statistics and regulations governing the reporting of exports from the U.S.
The U.S. Census Bureau provides data for the Federal, state and local governments as well as voting, redistricting, apportionment and congressional affairs.
Search an alphabetical index of keywords and phrases to access Census Bureau statistics, publications, products, services, data, and data tools.
Geography provides the framework for Census Bureau survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
Geography is central to the work of the Bureau, providing the framework for survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
Find resources on how to use geographic data and products with statistical data, educational blog postings, and presentations.
The Geographic Support System Initiative will integrate improved address coverage, spatial feature updates, and enhanced quality assessment and measurement.
Work with interactive mapping tools from across the Census Bureau.
Find geographic data and products such as Shapefiles, KMLs, TIGERweb, boundary files, geographic relationship files, and reference and thematic maps.
Metropolitan and micropolitan areas are geographic entities used by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics.
Find information about specific partnership programs and learn more about our partnerships with other organizations.
Definitions of geographic terms, why geographic areas are defined, and how the Census Bureau defines geographic areas.
We conduct research on geographic topics such as how to define geographic areas and how geography changes over time.
Visit our library of Census Bureau multimedia files. Collection formats include audio, video, mobile apps, images, and publications.
Official audio files from the Census Bureau, including "Profile America," a daily series of bite-sized statistics, placing current data in a historical context.
Infographics include information on the Census Bureau's history of data collection, our nation's veterans and the American Community Survey.
Stock photos that illustrate official Census Bureau operations and activities.
Read briefs and reports from Census Bureau experts.
Watch Census Bureau vignettes, testimonials, and video files.
Read research analyses from Census Bureau experts.
Access data through products and tools including data visualizations, mobile apps, interactive web apps and other software.
Developer portal to access services and documentation for the Census Bureau's APIs.
Explore Census Bureau data on your mobile device with interactive tools.
Find a multitude of DVDs, CDs and publications in print by topic.
These external sites provide more data.
Download extraction tools to help you get the in-depth data you need.
Learn more about our data from this collection of e-tutorials, presentations, webinars and other training materials. Sign up for training sessions.
Explore Census data with interactive visualizations covering a broad range of topics.
Learn how we serve the public as the most reliable source of data about the nation's people and economy.
Information about the U.S. Census Bureau.
Information about what we do at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Our researchers explore innovative ways to conduct surveys, increase respondent participation, reduce costs, and improve accuracy.
Our surveys provide periodic and comprehensive statistics about the nation, critical for government programs, policies, and decisionmaking.
Learn about other opportunities to collaborate with us.
Explore the rich historical background of an organization with roots almost as old as the nation.
Explore prospective positions available at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Information about the current field vacancies available at the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Offices.
Discover the latest in Census Bureau data releases, reports, and events.
The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
Find interesting and quirky statistics regarding national celebrations and major events.
Profile America is a daily, 60-second feature that uses interesting vignettes for that day to highlight information collected by the Census Bureau.
Find media toolkits, advisories, and all the latest Census news.
See what's coming up in releases and reports.
The first extensive attempt by the Census Bureau to define areas based on the metropolitan area concept was the identification of industrial districts for the Census of Manufactures of 1905, which showed such districts for New York, Chicago, Boston, and St. Louis. The Census Bureau gave official recognition to the metropolitan area concept for decennial census purposes when it defined metropolitan districts for the 1910 census. These metropolitan districts were defined on a nationwide basis for cities having populations of at least 100,000.
The Census Bureau defined metropolitan districts again for the 1920 census, applying the same criteria that had been used in 1910. Metropolitan districts again were defined for the 1930 and 1940 censuses, but the criteria were modified for these censuses so that metropolitan districts for cities with minimum populations of 50,000 would be recognized. There were 96 metropolitan districts for the 1930 census, and 140 metropolitan districts for the 1940 census.
During the period 1910 through 1940, the Census Bureau defined metropolitan districts in terms of minor civil divisions (MCDs)--county subdivisions such as townships or election districts--and determined their boundaries primarily based on population density.
However, few agencies or organizations outside the Census Bureau compiled data for MCDs. As a result, federal, state, local, and private statistical groups could not readily prepare data and conduct socioeconomic analyses using the metropolitan district as a statistical base. By World War II, some of these groups had developed alternative metropolitan definitions in terms of whole counties that did not coincide with the Census Bureau's metropolitan districts or the metropolitan definitions of other agencies or groups.
Standard definitions of metropolitan areas were first issued in 1949 by the then Bureau of the Budget (predecessor of Office of Management and Budget or OMB), under the designation "standard metropolitan area" (SMA). The term was changed to "standard metropolitan statistical area" (SMSA) in 1959, and to "metropolitan statistical area" (MSA) in 1983. The term "metropolitan area" (MA) was adopted in 1990 and referred collectively to metropolitan statistical areas, consolidated metropolitan statistical areas, and primary metropolitan statistical areas.
The term "core based statistical area" (CBSA) was adopted by OMB in 2000 and refers collectively to metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, both of which are defined around urban centers, or "cores." Census Bureau-defined urbanized areas and urban clusters form the cores of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, respectively.
OMB also introduced the concept of combined statistical areas, consisting of groupings of adjacent metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and representing larger regions in which the component CBSAs are socially and economically integrated, but to a lesser extent than territory within individual metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas.
On June 6, 2003, OMB announced definitions of 362 metropolitan statistical areas and 560 micropolitan statistical areas in the United States; eight metropolitan statistical areas and five micropolitan statistical areas in Puerto Rico; and 116 combined statistical areas in the United States and Puerto Rico. OMB announced updates to the CBSA classification as of December 2003, designating 13 new micropolitan statistical areas, merging two metropolitan statistical areas, and identifying nine new combined statistical areas.